New York trip

On the last weekend of October it was my wonderful girlfriend’s birthday and as a present I took her to New York for a long weekend. We have an old friend, Dom, who lives there. I was at school with Dom. He is now married to the lovely Caden, and they have 2 children, the charming William (just under 2), and sweet Stella who is 8 months.

We had to hurry to Heathrow after work on the Thursday. I paid slightly more for British Airways flights, because I like them and I absolutely love Terminal 5. As a plane freak (check out my Facebook ‘Aeroplanes’ album for proof), I just love the great views it gives you. Impressively, both flights were on time. Maybe my expectations are too low!? Also I like the service on BA, I like the food, and I like the fact that it’s British.

We gained 5 hours on the way over and arrived there at 2230. It was 1am by the time we made our way by train to Dom’s lovely apartment in the Park Slope area of Brooklyn.

On our first day we simply explored .. and walked so far it made us ache the next day!

We started out, on a grey Friday morning, walking over Brooklyn Bridge into Manhattan. (right).

On Friday night Dom treated us a to a wonderful meal out near their place.

On Saturday it rained, but we continued to explore, taking in the Guggenheim Museum, which had a Kandinsky exhibition. (below)



On Saturday we also explored the High Line, a disused elevated train line that has been converted into an urban park on the East side of lower Manhattan .. very cool:-

Sunday was a beautiful day, and we made the most by going on a lovely boat trip down the Hudson past the Statue of Liberty.


The best was yet to come, though, on Sunday night we went to the Giants Stadium to see the NY Giants play the Arizona Cardinals (the home team were defeated 17-24). Thoroughly entertaining, despite the extortionately priced beer.

The best bit of all was the fantastic view from the plane on the gorgeous, clear Monday morning when we flew back – JFK airport and Manhattan in the distance:-


All in all a fabulous trip. My first time in NYC was totally unforgettable. Despite the painful knees and heels from the walking!


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Above: me in Grand Central Station (L), Anna on the Subway (R)

Below (L to R): Anna, William, Stella, Dom and Caden.



My SQL Bits 5 Community Day Session

Today I have been working on my session for SQL Bits 5. This will be the third SQL Bits community day I have presented at, after SQL Bits 2 in Birmingham in March 2008, and SQL Bits 4 in Manchester in March 2009.

My session is about Real World SQL Server High Availability. I have to do a lot of Clustering, Mirroring and Log Shipping at work. I thought it would be a good idea to talk about what these options are like in real life, what the business considerations are in choosing one (or not choosing one!), how easy they are to set up and manage, and what the pros and cons of each option are.

I am really looking forward to the event. In my (admittedly fairly biased) opinion, the quality of training you get at this kind of event far exceeds Microsoft Official Curriculum training courses, and SQL Bits Community Day is .. free!

I hope to see you there.